US sets new emissions standards for trucks

US sets new emissions standards for trucks

US sets new emissions standards for trucks

The United States has announced tougher emissions standards for trucks and buses starting from 2027, and said it would spend almost $1.4 billion on expanding green public transit.

The proposed new standards for gasoline- and diesel-heavy vehicles would place stricter limits on nitrogen oxides (NOx) that cause smog and soot, and set new greenhouse gas standards from 2030.

“Seventy-two million people are estimated to live near truck freight routes in America and they’re more likely people of color and those with lower income,” Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) director Michael Regan told reporters at an event for the announcement on March 7.

“Those overburdened communities are directly exposed to pollution that leads to respiratory and cardiovascular problems.”
The new limits will apply to new vehicles made in 2027 onwards, and include 27 million school buses, transit buses, commercial delivery trucks and short-haul tractors.
The EPA estimated the new regulations will prevent 2,300 deaths and 18,000 cases of childhood onset asthma by the year 2045.

But advocacy group the Union of Concerned Scientists criticized the measures for not going far enough, and falling short of standards already set by California and other states.
“Even the most stringent alternative in the proposed federal NOx standards lags state-level standards, delivering insufficient pollution emission reductions and failing to require zero-emission truck adoption,” said Johanna Chao Kreilick, president of UCS, in a statement.

“Unfortunately, the truck industry has been pushing aggressively for weak regulations. It is imperative that the public stays active and engaged in this process to counter industry lobbying,” she added.
Vice President Kamala Harris, meanwhile, announced nearly $1.4 billion to help state and local governments purchase U.S.-built electric transit buses, via funding that was allocated in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year.
“Imagine a future: the freight trucks that deliver bread and milk to our grocery store shelves and the buses that take children to school and parents to work, imagine all the heavy duty vehicles that keep our supply lines strong and allow our economy to grow. Imagine that they produce zero emissions,” she said.

The EPA is also awarding $17 million for electric zero-emission and low-emission school buses from previously approved funding.
Although truck manufacturers are working on battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, the EPA says the proposal is not a zero-emissions truck requirement. Rather, the agency says there are pollution control devices in development that can keep diesels in use and still clean the air.
Truck engine makers and other industry groups said they favor cutting pollution, but raised concerns that the requirements may not be technically possible or could make trucks costly and unreliable.

“We look forward to working with EPA to ensure that the final version of today’s rule is practical, technically feasible, cost-effective, and will result in the necessary fleet turnover to achieve the nation’s environmental objectives,” Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association President Jed Mandel said in a statement.
Transportation emits 29 percent of the gases, and heavy-duty trucks account for 23 percent of that. President Joe Biden is trying to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 to battle the effects of climate change.
The new exhaust-treatment systems would come with a higher cost, as would the warranties, which likely would be passed along to truck and bus buyers. But the EPA says reduced pollution from the most stringent option would save the country up to $250 billion from 2027 through 2045, largely by preventing deaths and reducing health care costs.